Friday, February 5, 2016

Past POIs - Haskell Free Library [Vermont / United States of America, Quebec / Canada]

Yaa, the location is a bit weird, but it is actually true! Welcome to Haskell Free Library and Opera House, a building founded in 1901 that is actually built on top of the border of United States of America and Canada.

Source: Haskell Library Facebook
Construction started in 1901 and ended in 1904 after a series of delays with an estimated total cost of $50,000 (over $1,000,000 after inflation). This library and opera house was built by the Haskell family as a source of income which was never fulfilled but has become quite the tourist attraction for people in the know.

Me walking out of the USA entrance.
You are free to visit the library during its regular hours, however, do note that there are law enforcement officers that make sure that you come and go from your country of entry into the Haskell Library. While we were there, there was no issue, but there is a note on their website, so I would take their word for it and make sure to follow the rules.

Me with one foot in Canada, one foot in USA.
The library is divided into three areas based on where things are geographically. The main door is in the United States of America, the circulation desk and all the books are in Canada, and the reading room is international. While we were there, we talked to some of the librarians for a bit of history behind the building, bought a coffee and just relaxed in the reading room for a bit while taking pictures of us being between two countries (there is tape on the floor that marks the border).

Tours of the opera house are available starting mid-May and ending in mid-October, check their website for details. It says that it is roughly 25 minutes long with a suggested donation of $5. Since we came during the winter time, we didn't get a chance to do the tour.

Us with one foot in USA and one foot in Canada.
The opera house actually sounds quite interesting. It is on the second floor of the building and is the only opera house that is split by an international border where the seats are in United States of America and the stage is in Canada. I'm not sure if it is included in the tour, but the website says that in the dressing rooms, the walls are covered with signatures from generations of performers that have performed at Haskell.

You can find out more at Haskell Free Library and Opera House.

Come back next Friday for another Past Point of Interest!